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24-03-2013
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I'm glad this thread exists, and this collection is one of the few worthy of this kind of discussion (as opposed to the bloated Saint Laurent thread).

Quote:
Originally Posted by runner View Post
off topic though
Uemarasan, some famous textile designers like manabu kikuchi are from miyake studio. I think issey miyake is the most technical collective of all the japanese fashion houses in terms of fabric making.
Thanks for the information, runner! It's hard finding images of his work online, though. I know that Issey Miyake also worked with Junichi Arai, who was one of the great textile designers. And he definitely used a lot of synthetics.

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26-03-2013
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*I find the deeper and more abstract responses that Rei's designs are always able to evoke in some... very interesting-- and amusing. My perspective has always been that fashion, even high fashion is not art, but art is subjective and so personal that if-- in the words of a tagline on a Gaultier shirt once said: "The best art thrills the heart", then so be it if some feels high fashion is art. One of the reasons I am fascinated by Rei, Yohji and Helmut is that they let the designs speak for themselves, and the audience/wearer may identify all the subversive and rich references from their own repository. That's why I never quite admired Hussein Chalayan, since he always seemed to want you to know how innovative he is by always having to explain it to you.

I adore Rei and I'm so glad she has always kept her presentations and designs celebrity-free and hype-free. I know she's had artists like Francesco Clemente and Cindy Sherman featured in her campaigns, etc. but they're not mainstream of-the-moment types that will be here-today-gone-tomorrow that fashion seems to be polluted with lately. Good for her for staying clear of the red carpet. Now Rei, just please rid the CdG world of that horrendous Play line.


Last edited by MulletProof; 02-04-2013 at 09:36 PM. Reason: response to removed post.
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27-03-2013
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speaking generally now...

i think some people are simply more informed than others and it behooves one to listen and learn from those with more learning...
without getting all insecure and sh*t...
:p

it's absurd that anyone should be expected to pretend to be ignorant or stupid just because it makes the uninformed feel uncomfortable or even threatened somehow...

the most disgusting thing i have encountered in the fashion industry is how little value is place on intellect and intelligence...
everyone gets all defensive and insecure because most fashion people are not usually big on academia...
and as soon as you say a word they don't understand, they get all koo koo for kokopuffs...
if you don't understand something- just ask!
there is no shame in not knowing and people are usually happy to explain because most people really do want to be understood!
plus---you'll learn something! bonus!

you get more points for being thin than you do for being smart in this industry...
and that, my friends, is a problem...
and a big part of why fashion is floundering...
no one is smart enough to innovate...they just like pretty dresses...
...

so what...who cares...?!
pretty dresses do not make the world go around...

...

having said all that...
this is not my fave CdG collection...
but i really respect the design process here and appreciate all the different pieces of art and literature, etc that have been brought in here to show the different perspectives that the designs may be approached from...

if everything is subjective, then your perception will vary depending which direction you are coming from and what background you bring to the table...

i enjoy having an opportunity to see other perspectives...
even when i don't agree with them...
it opens my eyes to new possiblities and inspires me to think outside of my own personal experiences and ideas...



**sorry for the long post...
but this is a pet peeve of mine...
i hate having to pretend to be stupid so that some people won't feel threatened...
it's been going on for years and i'm just a wee bit fed up and needed to vent...



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Last edited by MulletProof; 02-04-2013 at 09:36 PM. Reason: response to removed post.
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27-03-2013
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^Thank you for that, softgrey. Such a wonderful defense of intelligence! I'm a little more prickly when it comes to this kind of thing. When did a display of intellect become a bad thing? I understand the criticism if the tone is smug or condescending, but none of the previous posts are like that at all.

Honestly, people are too sensitive and politically correct these days. There is no shame in admitting that you do not know everything and that you still have a lot to learn. The fact is that there will always be people who know more than you, who are *gasp* better than you. I think people should be able to acknowledge their limitations and then simply improve themselves. I do not like the mentality that seems to go around that you are already perfect the way you are. Talk about blinding vanity.

I love the Arcimboldo reference. I'm wondering if there might be a sculptor or artist who works in the same way, using objects to form a sculpture.

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27-03-2013
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I don't know if anyone could answer this question: does Anna Wintour normally attend Rei Kawakubo's presentations?

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27-03-2013
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such a show-off that softgrey...


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27-03-2013
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edit to add:
just to clarify myself...
i've been dumbing myself down within the industry...
not necessarily here at tFS...
one of the reasons i post on tFS is that i can actually have intelligent conversations about fashion with people here...
or at least read them, even if i don't always participate...
so i am not casting aspersions on anyone here...


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28-03-2013
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Anyway, another aspect of this collection that I've been thinking about is the use of color. Moving from neutrals to a rainbow of colors is like witnessing the birth of the universe or life, in a way. However, I'm curious about why Kawakubo chose red for a few of the looks before that burst of color. I'm sure there must be some significance.


Last edited by MulletProof; 02-04-2013 at 09:35 PM. Reason: response to deleted comment.
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28-03-2013
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^And runner mentioned that Rei was wearing red instead of her usual black after the show.

I don't want to overdetermine the significance of the colors, but isn't red sometimes associated in japanese
with beginning/birth where black signifies something complete or final?
i might be completely off base here, but maybe runner can clarify.

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28-03-2013
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to make it clear, I wouldn't say this is art.
it's fashion, fashion's self-negation because it is attracted by art.
it's the ironic fashion monster that is rei kawakubo.
when dealing with what such designer does, I cannot help stepping over the line of the fashion field, at some point, along with the content of the work.
anyway as a show including music, venue, etc, this is the best of the season for me (not the best CdG though).
she made up my fave moment on the runway, mixing calculation and spontaneity.


Uemarasan, isn't that red in some way magmatic or demiurgic ?
and the following print seems to be something like CdG mandala.


yes laika, especially baby = akachan, akanbou, akago etc. aka = red. can be associated with birth.



screenshot from the video posted here earlier
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28-03-2013
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^^^ Interesting observation, but I don't see the Mandala in the design (which funnily enough, was seen at Tom Ford...), although the color-palette is very Tibetan. I got more of a Pop feel to the patterns than anything academic. The severe, austere and conservative, classic houndstooth and glen plaids of the opening (very classic CdG) gives way to a celebratory, lighthearted, burst of kaleidoscopic rush of juvenile wrapping paper patterns-- if cheap, childish wrapping paper could be manipulated into the most insane and masterful forms.

I always think Rei has a great sense of humor, and as complex and innovative as her creative process to the finished product is, she has always retain her sense of the ridiculous, a certain joy and energy in every collection she has produced for the women's CdG line that is never all seriousness.

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28-03-2013
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^Tom Ford used the mandala very literally...I think it was simply another element in that
multi-cultural hodge-podge of references that he identified as a theme. :p

But a mandala can be something more general or abstract--like a geometric map of (or way of representing) the cosmos which i think is what runner is suggesting.
in any case, as a reference, I definitely think it's more spiritual than "academic" (although mandala can also be a political map).

Just to clarify...I'm not interested in seeing CdG as art,
nor am I trying to pin down some absolute interpretation of the collection,
nor suggesting that Rei was in any way motivated by the references we have been using here.

I absolutely agree with you Phuel about her sense of humor...and that there is always a mad playfulness in her work.

On the other hand, as I was (very clumsily ) suggesting before, I think
this madness is always in tension with a very rigorous, albeit mysterious rationality.
This always strikes me when I see the really crazy looking stuff in person...it's never purely random or haphazard.
There is something very deliberate and logical going on and this is what I'm interested in understanding.

I can't see it through Rei's eyes, of course, so I have to draw on other things (outside of fashion) to help me make sense of it.

Thanks for all the great conversation, everyone.

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Last edited by laika; 28-03-2013 at 05:27 PM.
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28-03-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laika View Post
..I think this madness is always in tension with a very rigorous, albeit mysterious rationality.
This always strikes me when I see the really crazy looking stuff in person...it's never purely random or haphazard.
There is something very deliberate and logical going on and this is what I'm interested in understanding.

I can't see it through Rei's eyes, of course, so I have to draw on other things (outside of fashion) to help me make sense of it.
Yeah definitely, there's a discipline to the chaos, a strictness to the spontaneity-- but it comes off so effortlessly in her capable hands, rather than forced, or strained... Talent and vision alone is not enough to accomplish this, it takes experience and sharply-honed skills. I think that's why she's really that great and irresistible as a Rumpelstiltskin-type of a designer, with her maverick, artful approach to fashion, she has/can turn "cheap" polyester into expensive, and expressive forms of wonder. Those banker's grey jackets/suits that come right after the houndstooths and pinstripes, with their leaf-like layers and jagged edges instantly remind me of Umberto Boccioni's bronze sculptures. I don't think Rei may have him in mind with the designs she conjured up, but when she doesn't need to explain about her collections, is when she's able to open the floodgates of our own repository of references.

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31-03-2013
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yes, not "the Mandala", but 'CdG mandala', a decorative mode of representation of the unfolding magic.
'ironic' is about both sides. fashion and art, feminine and masculine, shape and amorphous...and, as I mentioned her in the ccp thread, it's also a kind of a serious play.

as for the deliberation and logic, she is not able to make clothes herself, without official sartorial training, what she studied at school being aesthetics and science of arts. while she has an image, she cannot put it into a form. so, the formation through all the communications with patternmakers over and over and over could be the process of somewhat cooling down the original heat of the image. also if the image - the madness is of playful nature, the play element in it could function as a formative one (along the lines of huizinga/homo ludens, play creates order). in this regard it may be possible to call something logical about it rhythm.



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02-04-2013
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ok- i had to look up mandala...

for anyone else who cares...this is what i found...
from wikipedia...

Maṇḍala (मण्डल) is a Sanskrit word meaning "circle." Mandalas have spiritual and ritual significance in Hinduism and Buddhism.[1][2]
The term is of Hindu origin. It appears in the Rig Veda as the name of the sections of the work, but is also used in other Indian religions, particularly Buddhism.
The basic form of most Hindu and Buddhist mandalas is a square with four gates containing a circle with a center point. Each gate is in the shape of a T.[3][4] Mandalas often exhibit radial balance.[5]
In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts, as a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space, and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. In the Tibetan branch of Vajrayana Buddhism, mandalas have been developed into sandpainting. They are also a key part of Anuttarayoga Tantra meditation practices.
In common use, mandala has become a generic term for any plan, chart or geometric pattern that represents the cosmos metaphysically or symbolically, a microcosm of the universe from an enlightened perspective, i.e. that of the principle deity.

the last one seems to apply in this context...
some samples of mandalas


  • A diagramic drawing of the Sri Yantra, showing the outside square, with four T shaped gates, and the central circle.


  • Vishnu-Mandala


  • Painted 19th century Tibetan mandala of the Naropa tradition, Vajrayogini stands in the center of two crossed red triangles, Rubin Museum of Art


  • Painted Bhutanese Medicine Buddha mandala with the goddess Prajnaparamita in center, 19th century, Rubin Museum of Art


  • Tibetan monks making a temporary sand mandala in the City-Hall of Kitzbühel in Austria in 2002.


  • Details of Sand-Mandala


  • Mandala of the Six Chakravartins


  • Vajravarahi Mandala


  • Kalachakra Mandala


  • Jain cosmological diagrams and text.


  • Jain painting of Mahavira.

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